4 potential surprises that could emerge in Panthers 2022 training camp

(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Matt Rhule
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Matt Rhule /
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(Griffin Zetterberg-USA TODAY Sports) Baker Mayfield /

Carolina Panthers QB competition goes longer than expected

Although Baker Mayfield looks set to start after his trade to the Carolina Panthers, it might be some time before Matt Rhule officially names him as the No. 1. Those in power are looking for a true quarterback competition in training camp between four individuals, which can hopefully raise performance levels with an added sense of urgency.

Mayfield looks like an instant upgrade on Sam Darnold based on their previous production. But it could take a while for the Oklahoma product to fully acclimatize and learn the intricacies of Ben McAdoo’s playbook in the coming weeks.

The longer this goes, the better for Carolina.

In an ideal world, Mayfield will grasp things instantly and emerge as the runaway winner. But Rhule’s attachment to Darnold is evident and something that could see the No. 3 overall selection in 2018 stay in the fight longer than anticipated.

Matt Corral is seen as a long-term option with some potential. And it appears as if P.J. Walker is on the outside looking in unless a drastic turnaround occurs.

Mayfield wasn’t brought in to sit on the sidelines. But the Panthers also know that keeping Darnold in the spotlight could see a trade offer come in for the signal-caller if injuries strike elsewhere.

It’s a precarious situation that the Panthers must handle carefully. Otherwise, it could be another long, hard season for the team’s long-suffering fanbase.

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